Friday, December 25, 2009

Allison Pittman ~ Interview + Giveaway!

Today author Allison Pittman is telling us about her series, Crossroads of Grace. She has offered the ENTIRE three-book series (autographed) to one lucky winner! Allison will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer any questions you leave in a comment for her. (If you are only asking a question, and not entering, then please say that you don't want to be entered.)

Welcome, Allison! Tell us a little about yourself.

Let’s see…I’m a busy mom of three boys (twin teen-agers and a tween), and my husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! I left my teaching career after 17 years to pursue writing full time, and somehow my schedule got crazier! I think I thrive in chaos…

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
My first novel, Ten Thousand Charms, came out in 2006, and The Bridegrooms, my 6th book (yay!!!), comes out in April.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
Hmmm…I have no idea who I would compare my writing to. Weird, but I think I’m too close to it to make that call. I’m also not sure how to classify it in terms of sweet, sensual etc., because I think that’s all going to depend on what the story calls for. Let’s go with “saucy”!

In your own words tell us a little about the Crossroads of Grace series.
The series tells the story of three women whose lives intersect when they find themselves spending a year together in a frontier Wyoming brothel.

Ten Thousand Charms-
A woman with no future.

A man with no hope.

A God who knows the key to their deepest need lies in each other…

Wyoming Territories, 1860. Gloria is in trouble. A mining camp is a merciless place when you’re young, pregnant…and a prostitute. No matter. Life will not defeat her.

John William McGregan is in despair. His beloved wife died in childbirth. And while John is a resourceful man, raising an infant daughter on his own seems impossible.

Thrown together by a seemingly cruel fate, Gloria and John William make a pact: She will nurse his daughter; he will raise her son. Neither asks for marriage. They are joined by necessity, nothing more.

But after a move to the new Oregon territory, facing John William’s faith day after day, and receiving an older woman’s motherly mentoring, Gloria longs for something more. For the love she’s been denied all her life. If only that life hadn’t made her unfit, not only for John William…but for God.

Then tragedy strikes—making even the resolute John William question his faith. Terrified, Gloria turns to the One she has never been able to trust. But can even God save what now means more to Gloria than life itself: her newfound family?

Speak Through the Wind-
After a lifetime of mistakes…can Kassandra ever be forgiven?

New York City, 1841

When Reverend Joseph plucks a gravely wounded child from the mean streets of Manhattan’s rough Five Points District, he intends to give her a real home. And though Kassandra flourishes in the preacher’s house, learning Bible verses at his knee and going to school, as a young teenager she makes the first of many devastating decisions, running away from the only haven she’s ever known.

What follows is a waking nightmare: life in a tiny room above a brothel, the loss of a child, a lover’s rejection, and finally, life as a prostitute. As circumstances lead her further and further from the reverend’s secure home, an ashamed Kassandra is certain that neither God, nor Joseph, will ever forgive her.

Feeling as though she has nothing left to lose and nowhere to go, Kassandra leaves behind her hopes of redemption and heads west to California, where she is transformed into the woman known as Sadie. Unfortunately, nothing in her life is pointing to a happy ending, and Sadie is forced to grapple with the question: Once you’ve passed the point of no return, can you ever go back?

With Endless Sight-
Behind every story of loss is the promise of grace.…

Belleville, Illinois and Wyoming Territories, 1861

Born into a life of privilege, fourteen-year-old Belinda never questions her security, even as she leaves Illinois with her family to discover new adventures in the Oregon Territory. But when disaster falls, Belinda is left wounded, weak, and alone. Her faith in God gives her the only strength she knows in a harsh new world.

Belinda’s journey takes her to a snow-covered mining camp and a red-roofed brothel in the Wyoming mountains, but not before she must spend a lonely winter with the man who took away the life she knew. Throughout the grief and hope of a strange land, Belinda must decide if her faith is big enough to allow her to forgive.

The satisfying conclusion to the Crossroads of Grace series, With Endless Sight offers a rich story of family, new beginnings, and the freedom that grace can bring.

What made you want to write these stories?
The inspiration for the series came from looking at a picture of a group of frontier prostitutes posing in their parlor. I looked into their eyes and realized that these women had stories, and they’d all taken vastly different paths to end up in a life of prostitution. I realized, too, that when it came to their wants and desires for their lives, they weren’t any different from the more “respectable” women of the time or, for that matter, from women today.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
I really do envision actors and actresses when I write, but I’m afraid I sometimes go to obscure extremes. Gloria was inspired by an actress named Theresa Blake, who actually played a character named “Gloria” on a soap opera years ago, so we’d need a time machine to cast her :) ; Kassandra/Sadie Liza Weil (from Gilmore Girls), and Belinda/Biddy is based on a photograph of Laura Ingalls Wilder when she was about 14 years old, so maybe a young Lindsay Lohan? Again, the time machine…

What are you working on now or going to write next?
My next novel is due out in April. It’s called The Bridegrooms, and it is such a fun book! Tons of romance and secrets.

How can readers get in contact with you?
I am, of course, on facebook, and they can also go to my website to send me an email. I’m the world’s worst blogger, though. That’s my New Year’s resolution!

What are you currently reading?
A couple of different things, actually! I’m reading Anne Patchett’s Run (she is amazing!), and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
Goodness, I am soooooo boring. OK, I just started drinking coffee, like, a month ago. My teen-age sons like it, and wanted a coffee maker in the house. I’ve never liked coffee at all, but that’s because I didn’t know about rich, chocolate Coffee-Mate creamer. ‘Nuff said.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
I’d want to be my dog, Stella, because, really, she has such a wonderful life!


TV show, and/or movie?
TV show: Gilmore Girls. I can pretty much recite entire episodes. Movie? Hmm…impossible to narrow it to one, so I’ll go with three: Love Actually, Dan in Real Life, and Mildred Pierce.

Place to go on vacation?
Disneyworld! I’m a wee bit obsessed…

Book this year or month? Why?
I just finished reading The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe. It’s an older novel, and it totally doesn’t conform to a lot of current fiction conventions. It dabbles in omniscient point-of-view (gasp!!!) and was such a nice, kind of old-fashioned change. Loved it!

**USA residents only, please**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win autographed copies of each book in the Crossroads of Grace series! To enter: Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win), and please specify that you want to be included in the contest! *If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.* The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest. The contest will run from today (Dec. 25) until 10:30 CST on Thursday (Dec. 31). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 1st, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner. Good luck! Thanks for visiting.


Virginia C said...

Hello, Ladies! Thank you for this fabulous giveaway! Allison, you have written a wonderful series of books set in my favorite time frame and place in American history. I love the Old West of the mid to late 1800's.

I am a follower. Please enter my name in the drawing.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

WOW awesome giveaway! This series is one of the best out there! Please don't enter me as I have already read these books. If you haven't read Stealing Home I suggest that too. As a sports fan I thought that this story, centered around a baseball star, was a great read, VERY touching and insirational! I can't wait for The Bridegrooms!

Merry Christmas!

XOXO~ Renee

collettakay said...

I read the first book in this series and it was really, really good. I'd love to read the next 2.

Please enter my name in the drawing.

I'm a follower.


Edna said...

Please enter me into the drawing, you know I love to read if I am sitting here on Christmas Day signing up trying to win a book,.

I am a follower


Katy said...

This is an awesome giveaway! :) Please include me in the contest!

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

I'm a follower. :D

ChelseaW said...

I am very interested in reading her first series! My e-mail is cwiner at gmail dot com.

I am also a follower, keep up the good blogging!

Anonymous said...

The giveaway sounds awesome!
smrogi at att dot net

Hope said...

Wow, these sound like some great books! Please enter me!
I'm a follower too!

Casey said...

Hi Carmen! This looks like a great book, I would love to be entered. I am also a brand new follower!

I have presented your blog with an award you can pick it up here at my site:

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Would love to win....please enter me. I am a follower. Thanks!!!

Russell & Krista said...

I was on of Mrs. Pittman's students in high school and would love to read her books!! Please enter me into the contest. I'm also a new follower :-)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful giveaway...Please enter my name in your drawing...Merry Christmas.


Buukluvr81 said...

Please enter me! These books sound FABULOUS!!!!

mollydawn1981 at aol dot com

Buukluvr81 said...

I am also an old follower!

mollydawn1981 at aol dot com

Joyful said...

WOW!! This is a wonderful giveaway.
Please enter me in the giveaway and I am a new follower.
Thanks & Happy New Year!


Ashley W. said...

Hey Carman,
I've never read any of Allison Pittman's books but they sound great! Can't wait to read them:~)
Please enter me in the giveaway

I'm a follower

Happy New Year,

ellen said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

Allison is the greatest! Known her for the better part of 15 years.

saddleviews at yahoo dot com

Andrea said...

Please enter me in the contest for these interesting books!

Thanks - Andrea


(please come by to enter my 'Primal' book giveaway!)

Andrea said...

I am a new follower.

Thanks - Andrea


HandyFamily said...

These sound like some good reading material. I am always looking for new authors! Thanks for the chance to win them!


HandyFamily said...

I am a new follower!


Jackie Russell said...

Sign me up for the drawing! Your books look very interesting and right up my alley of reading material.

Jackie Russell said...

I'm adding you to my Google reader too!

Anonymous said...

You have the best giveaways! Loved your cover contest too. Thanks!
estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Carla Gade said...

I really enjoyed this interview. I'd love a chance to win the series. I'm a follower of your blog.

Carla Gade

carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a wonderful contest. Please enter me. I have not read any of this author's books but they sound wonderful.I have just became a follower. Just find your blog. Blessings.

A J Hawke said...

These sound like interesting reads.
Enter me in the contest, please.

Not a follower, yet.

A J Hawke

Julie J. said...

I've not heard of this author but would love to read these books! Please enter me in the contest! Thursday is my birthday so this would be a great gift!! :)

I am a follower of your blog. I also have you on google reader!


SAHSHA said...

Hello! Would love to win the books!
Please enter me in the contest
Sahsha's Mummy

The Unsell Family said...

What a wonderful give a way! Would love to be entered into this contest.
Thank you-
~Jen Unsell

The Unsell Family said...

I am a follower.
~Jen Unsell

Linda said...

Please sign me up for the giveaway! Your premise of prostitutes' true desires are so right on for many of them. Most get caught up for reasons too numerous to write.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I am now a follower!

Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be included in this giveaway!

PS I saw that you were wishing for 'Before the Season Ends' by Linore Rose Burkard...I have that as a giveaway on my blog now. The last day to enter is hurry!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Jaime said...

Please include me in this giveaway
Jaime Payne
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

I am a follower
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Katey said...

This is such a great giveaway. I just became a follower.


SuperMom said...

Please include me!
ladyverlina AT

SuperMom said...

I'm a follower!

ladyverlina AT

Casey said...

Oh no! I just realized I forgot to give you my email addy. Hope it's not too late!